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New US Immigration Bill Addresses Liberian Immigrants

Last night President Bush outlined his new plan regarding US immigration policy. The President said he would deploy up to six thousand troops to patrol the US-Mexico border. Currently, an immigration bill is before the US Senate. Jack Reed, the senator for the state of Rhode Island, has sponsored a bill to help Liberian immigrants, leading some to herald him as the champion of the Liberian cause. Senator Reed spoke with English to Africa reporter, James Butty, about how this bill could impact Liberians and other nationals.

“The legislation as it is being proposed in the Senate provides a way for people to achieve permanent status in the United States and eventually become citizens, and the Liberian community as well as other communities can take advantage of it.”

Senator Reed says his Liberian Fairness Bill has been incorporated into the new Senate immigration bill. He adds that if the U.S. Congress is ever going to help Liberian immigrants, it can be achieved through this new bill.

Senator Reed explained why he has championed the cause of Liberian immigrants.

“I recognize the tremendous contributions that the Liberians have made to my home state of Rhode Island and to the country. These are very decent hard working people…And in addition to that, historically, the United States and Liberia have had a very close relationship…In addition, we’ve just seen a remarkable situation in Liberia where through free elections, they’ve elected a dynamic president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, someone who we believe is going to do great things for the people of Liberia…”

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